Today would have been my twenty-second wedding anniversary. I think it is important to reminisce about long-term relationships gone awry as one would at a memorial of a difficult person. Not dwell on the downs, but the ups. Paint a picture of what was added to your life as a result, not what was stripped. Focus on the lessons you learned about yourself, even if those came as the result of humiliation, pain, and bitterness.
So I ponder the gifts, the lessons, the treasures I will carry with me to my next relationship and my life. You don’t have to wait for an anniversary to do this exercise. You could do it now. Especially if you find yourself holding onto some bitterness, best to do it now so you can release that cloud which encompasses you.
Friends, we are gathered here today to celebrate a departed relationship. As in all relationships there were ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, exhilaration and disappointment. We are here to focus on the positives, the wisdom garnered.
I am grateful that my marriage taught me how to:
- Negotiate win/win solutions.
- Not worry about inconsequential disagreements.
- Get clear on what was important to discuss and what wasn’t.
- Give positive reinforcement.
- Live with not always getting my way.
- Go out of my way to give my mate what would please him.
- Not use my knowledge of his buttons to manipulate him.
- Have patience with him when he didn’t do well what came easily for me.
- Be “in wonder” when he did something that seemed inconceivable to me.
- Love deeply.
- Laugh at myself.
- Appreciate things that were important to him.
- Be trusting and vulnerable.
- Forgive him when he did things that I found insensitive or objectionable.
- Deal with disappointments.
- Be monogamous.
- Keep the passion alive.
So while this marriage has passed, it left behind valued skills which will live on in the next relationship.
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